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The Lion of Chaeronea - The Museum of Chaeronea *NEW*

The Museum’s exhibits are most significant and include, among others, sculptures from Levadeia and Chaeronea (the goddesses Cybele, Demetra [Ceres] and Athena [Minerva] Cranea, a portrait of the Roman Emperor Hadrian

chaeronea lion

When approaching Chaeronea by road from Levadeia, the first thing one sees is a marble pedestal with a giant lion facing the road as if greeting the visitors; the statue is surrounded by cypress trees.
The lion’s expression is somber, almost sad. In the past, many interpreted his countenance as an expression of sadness for the decimation of the Sacred Band of Thebes, the city-state’s elite military unit.
The monument was erected a few decades after the Battle of Chaeronea, fought in 338 B.C., to mark the common grave in which according to tradition the slain members of the Sacred Band were interred when Philip of Macedon allowed the Thebans to bury their dead. Excavations started at the end of the 19th century, and in the early 20th century they led to the discovery of the skeletons of 254 men together with part of their armament.
Source: Municipality of Chaeronea

The Museum’s exhibits are most significant and include, among others, sculptures from Levadeia and Chaeronea (the goddesses Cybele, Demetra [Ceres] and Athena [Minerva] Cranea, a portrait of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, a stone sphere bearing the figures of the Sun and Moon in bas-relief), pottery from prehistoric and historic sites in the Chaeronea area, Elati, Orchomenos, Exarchos and Agioi Theodoroi of Antikyra, fragments of Myceanean frescoes from Orchomenos, coins and weapons from the tomb of the Macedonians as well as from the Thebans’ Polyandrium (Sepulcher) in Chaeronea.
In the Museum’s courtyard one can see a large number of engravings and grave stelae, architectural members from large temple structures and pedestals from Chaeronea, Levadeia, Elateia, Koroneia, Dauleia, Agios Vlassios and Distomo.
Worth mentioning is also a mosaic floor from the 3rd century A.D. with a rich geometric decoration in bands (strips, rhomboids, intersecting circles, spirals and meanders) as well as the personifications of the four Seasons.
In the courtyard one can also see an important burial monument from the 2nd century A.D. (an above-ground tomb or small mausoleum with reliquaries and a mosaic floor), discovered in the late 19th century, during the excavation of the burial ground to which the famous Lion belongs; it was again the focus of research in 1990.
Excerpts from an article by archaeologist: Eleni Kountouri

June   2012


 

 

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